Hello, Ithaca

Welcome to Chapter IV of my blog! It’s been a long road back and forth across the Atlantic, from Nice to R-MC, Laon, DC, and finally, Ithaca. Confused, clueless little me running off to study abroad would have never guessed that I’d do TAPIF, become an overworked City Year, or pursue a PhD.

Am I excited? Hell yeah. Being able to study whatever I want instead of being forced to take required, 100-level classes that I skated through with minimal effort is everything my nerd self in college could have ever wanted. Just look at the classes I want to take in the fall: The Future of Whiteness! Revolution, Sexuality, and Empire in Modern French Fictions! Montaigne and Skepticism! Sociology of Sex and Gender!

Am I nervous? Obviously. It’s been two years since I’ve been in school, and how I’ve survived all that time without writing an academic essay (my favorite part of school) is a mystery. My French is rather rusty after a year in DC with no opportunity to use it, but hopefully it’ll all come flooding back.

And here I am, sitting in my cozy studio in Ithaca, in one piece after Saturday’s 7 hour drive. I kicked out—er, dropped off—my parents at the airport yesterday after days of buying necessities and sightseeing, and survived the steeply uphill walk to campus this morning. (I’ll have legs of steel by the end of the year. I suppose Laon, aka la montagne couronnée, was trying to prepare me for the mountain life.) Nonetheless, the walk was ridiculously scenic, winding above Ithaca Falls and Fall Creek Gorge and through a campus that I still can’t believe is real.


The Romance Studies assistant informed me that there’s an enormous entering cohort of five students, all Spanish except for me. The hazards of going into French, I suppose, although my new status as a grad student didn’t hit me until I was standing in the middle of The Cornell Store, of all places. Nothing says you’re a student like overpriced university logos shoved in front of your face. (At least there, surrounded by terrifying price tags, I can always blame almost crying on capitalism.)

P.S. My landlady and her husband are so nice. Last night they invited me over for a delicious dinner, and then today she gave me locally grown lettuce and he gave me a mini history lesson wherein white feminists like Susan B. Anthony were inspired by Seneca women. Thanks, white male history, for erasing the contributions of WOC.